Unique Vegetable Side Dish Recipes You Haven’t Tried

When you think of vegetable side dish recipes, don’t just see them as mere add-ons. They’re the unsung heroes who complete our meals!

Besides their health perks, vegetables bring color and oomph to our plates.

From family dinners to big holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we have show-stopping epic side dishes that make every meal special.

unique side dishes you probably havent tried with lots of veggies.

Must-Try Veggie Side Dishes for Every Feast

During the holidays, while turkeys and hams usually grab the limelight, the vegetable side dishes bring depth, color, and variety to our feasts.

Not only do they offer a burst of flavor and texture, but they also provide balance to the pressure cooker turkey, ham, and rich gravy.

So, let’s toast the veggies that make our festive tables vibrant, flavorful, and wholesome. Here are our favorite easy side dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Unique Side Dishes Perfect for Thanksgiving

Creamed Spinach: A classic Southern side dish during holiday feasts, a creamy spinach dish is rich in flavor as it is in tradition. Blended with velvety cream and aromatic spices, it pairs perfectly with roast meats, adding a touch of comfort to every Christmas plate.

Smashed Brussels Sprouts: These Brussels sprouts, crisped to perfection, bring a delightful crunch to the holiday table. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, they’re a fresh take on an old favorite, making them a must-try this festive season. Honestly, you can smash just about any vegetable.

Charred Corn: Trade in the grilling for roasting with a brush of herb-infused butter. Its deep, smoky flavor makes it a side that stands out during those cozy Christmas dinners.

Loaded Cauliflower: Think cauliflower florets drowned in cheese, sprinkled with bacon bits, and baked till creamy and hot. A low-carb, high-fun alternative to roasted potatoes.

Cheesy Asparagus: Tender stalks adorned with a blanket of melted cheese turn this green veggie into a holiday luxury.

smashing brussels sprouts
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Make ahead salads

Asian Cabbage Salad: Envision crisp cabbage with an Asian flair. This salad introduces an unconventional yet delightful crunch to your Thanksgiving table and is a great choice over macaroni salad.

Dill Cucumber Salad: While typically a summer favorite, when paired with festive winter meals, it becomes a refreshing counterpoint to the heavier dishes of your feast.

Marinated Tomatoes: Imagine ripe red tomatoes marinated with balsamic and red onions; this no-bake, no-cook dish is just the right color for Christmas. This is also probably the quickest side dish you will make all season.

Ham Pasta Salad: With spiral pasta, chunks of cheese, and a creamy taste, this dish is also perfect for a leftover ham recipe.

thanksgiving pasta salads

Air frying clears up the oven.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes in an Air Fryer: Why wait for the oven to be clear? Get holiday perfection in half the time and twice the flavor!

Air Fryer Eggplant: Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside – this is a great way to try out a vegetable you would typically walk by in the store.

Air Fryer Carrot Fries: Sweet, crispy, and a fun twist on holiday sides—no need to have plain old carrots this season.

Easy Comfort Casseroles

Sweet Potato Crunch Casserole: Dive into this layered wonder of velvety sweet potatoes crowned with a crispy topping. It’s destined to become a staple for your Thanksgiving feasts! It is an excellent choice over traditional sweet potato casserole.

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin: Think layers of zucchini and tomato enveloped, stacked up, topped with breadcrumbs, and baked until golden. This hearty dish will make you forget it’s cold outside! A reader favorite, this dish is great all year.

Mexican Street Corn Casserole: Paired with traditional holiday main courses, this casserole introduces an unexpected twist that’ll have your guests return for seconds. It’s more than just a dish; it’s a perfect, unique, and cultural casserole recipe for Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving casserole ideas
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Set it, Forget it, and Love it: Slow Cooker Stars.

Slow-Cooked Collard Greens with Bacon: Embrace Southern warmth and hospitality. Slow-cooked greens with spice and savory bacon are a comforting addition to your Christmas spread and go great alongside Hoppin’ John, and cornbread—a traditional Good Luck New Year’s meal.

Slow-cooked Cinnamon Carrots: Tender carrots with warm cinnamon offer a delightful blend of sweetness and spice. It is a comforting side dish that instantly evokes the coziness of the winter holidays.

Crockpot Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes: Smoky ham, crisp green beans, and fluffy potatoes come together for a hearty holiday side.

big bowl of slow cooker green beans and potatoes is a unique vegetable side dish recipe
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Classic Side Dish Recipes Are Still Winners

Potato Salad: A creamy concoction of potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise that seamlessly marries texture and taste. Often overlooked, it’s the silent king of holiday sides, providing a dependable, delicious contrast to the rich meats and bold flavors that dominate festive meals.

Pea Salad: Sweet peas mingled with crunchy bacon bits and enveloped in a creamy dressing. It’s a trifecta of holiday joy. A bowlful brings together the nostalgia of family gatherings with a texture that dances on the palate, making it an unforgettable side dish at any festive table.

Corn Casserole: More than just a casserole, it’s a testament to the magic of corn. Baked to golden perfection, every bite is a delightful blend of corny goodness, soft texture, and a touch of sweetness. The dish gets wiped clean first, a silent testament to its popularity.

Green Bean Casserole: Beyond the tender green beans and creamy sauce, the crispy onions on top steal the show. They’re not just garnishes; they’re a bite of holiday dreams, adding a perfect crunch to a side dish that’s been a staple at holiday feasts for generations.

pouring creamed corn
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Love this list and want to try more?

Make sure to head over to our favorite 5 tater tot casserole recipes for a list that will leave you happy and satisfied!